The adventuresome life of a Great Pyrenees/Newfoundland dog in Northwestern Ontario

Posts tagged ‘mosquitoes’

Wildflower Wednesday 3

Things are really growing fast around here. We’ve put together another sampling of what’s blooming in the woods this week:

Thyme-leaved Sandwort - Arenaria leptoclados whose tiny flowers are very easy to miss! Good thing I use my sniffer to help Elizabeth find these wildflowers, eh!   ~:o)=

Thyme-leaved Sandwort – Arenaria leptoclados whose tiny flowers are very easy to miss! Good thing I use my sniffer to help Elizabeth find these wildflowers, eh! ~:o)=

 We don’t just have white flowers here, you know. There are just more white flowers at this time of year. So, we’re throwing some colour at you today!

Early Blue Violet - Viola sororia

Early Blue Violet – Viola sororia

 

Bunchberry - Cornus Canadensis

Bunchberry – Cornus Canadensis

 

There aren't many of these around. They are pretty hard to see, too! Hooker's Orchid - Platanthera hookeri

There aren’t many of these around. They are pretty hard to see, too! Hooker’s Orchid – Platanthera hookeri

 

Star Flower - Trientalis borealis

Star Flower – Trientalis borealis

 

Pale Corydalis - Capnoides sempervirens

Pale Corydalis – Capnoides sempervirens

Elizabeth got really excited when she found these. She has never found them on ‘The Estate’ before.

Three-leaf False Solomon's-seal - Maianthemum trifolium

Three-leaf False Solomon’s-seal – Maianthemum trifolium

By this time, I’m getting a little mosquito-bitten…

Is that the lake up ahead? Boy... I sure wouldn't mind a little swim! Hurry up, Elizabeth.

Is that the lake up ahead? Boy… I sure wouldn’t mind a little swim! Hurry up, Elizabeth.

The mosquitoes are starting to get to The Scribe, too. But there are some flowers that grow further up the trail that she really wants to show you…

Hoary Puccoon - Lithospermum canescens

Hoary Puccoon – Lithospermum canescens

 

Pale Comandra - Comandra umbellata

Pale Comandra – Comandra umbellata

 

Early Saxifrage - Saxifraga virginiensis

Early Saxifrage – Saxifraga virginiensis

 

Bicknell's Geranium - Geranium bicknellii

Bicknell’s Geranium – Geranium bicknellii

 

I'm trying hard to convince Elizabeth that we can go home now. It looks like it's going to rain. Hard.  ~:o/=

I’m trying hard to convince Elizabeth that we can go home now. It looks like it’s going to rain. Hard. ~:o/=

Elizabeth agrees that it’s time to go back. But as we head home, we have an adventure involving a bad tempered Black Lab and a Samoyed running loose on the trail. Their owner comes along on his ATV and apologises for their bad manners. We don’t usually see other people back in the bush. Maybe they weren’t expecting to run into anyone, either…

On our way again, we took a slightly different route home, and The Scribe  ***SIGH***  found some more flowers we haven’t shown you yet.

Sand Cherry - Prunus pumila

Sand Cherry – Prunus pumila

 

Pink Lady's Slipper - Cypripedium acaule. This is perhaps the most exotic of our wildflowers, and Elizabeth was surprised to find one in bloom so early this year. It's a type of orchid.

Pink Lady’s Slipper – Cypripedium acaule. This is perhaps the most exotic of our wildflowers, and Elizabeth was surprised to find one in bloom so early this year. It’s a type of orchid.

 

Wild Sarsaparilla - Aralia hispida

Wild Sarsaparilla – Aralia nudicaulis

By now it was raining…

“Just one more, Stella!”

Common Blue-eyed Grass - Sisyrinchium montanum

Common Blue-eyed Grass – Sisyrinchium montanum

I was tired of waiting. I wish I’d never suggested this. I got up and started walking toward home – a not so subtle hint since I was still on the lead. But I discovered that Elizabeth hadn’t anchored or tied it this time so, I just kept on going! It was kind of fun having Elizabeth trot along behind me with all her camera gear. BOL.

“Wait, Stella. Wait!”

I let her catch up before we got back to the road. BOL.

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Heating Hazards of NWO

[Scribal Caution: This is not pleasant reading/viewing for insectiphobes.]

The temperatures have been high this week, into the high 20C range (low 80s for my American friends). I still have all my wool. I’m hot.

Feeling too hot isn’t my only problem, though. With the heat, and all the melted snow collected in forest pools, and with the rain, we have other problems starting. Pesky, whining, biting, bloodsucking mosquito problems. Elizabeth has rigged my doghouse opening so that it both brushes flies and skeeters off me as I go in, then flops back into place in such a way as to deter biting insects from entering later. But when we go for our walks in the morning and evening, the mozzies flock to my nose area and feast away.

Elizabeth has always been a mosquito magnet, too. She’s been trying a homeopathic remedy called Mozzi-Q. It works. The mosquitoes just buzz around her. She still gets the odd bite, but not very many. She won’t give me any. She says she doesn’t know if it’s safe for dogs. Some two-legger things aren’t…

So, I suffer. I am coming into the two-legger house more, but I can’t stay inside all the time. So, I suffer.

Mosquito bites make me itchy. When I'm itchy, I look more like a Shar Pei than a Great Newfenees.

Mosquito bites make me itchy. When I’m itchy, I look more like a Shar Pei than a Great Newfenees.

Mosquitoes are not the only problem that comes with Spring. Now that the weather is hot and with all the rain, the grass is growing. Elizabeth says the military have special devices called mine sweepers that detect dangerous explosives hiding in the ground. I am a tick sweeper, not just detecting ticks but gathering them up into my wool as I patrol the estate’s meadows. It’s a tough job. I have already contracted one tick-bourne disease, anaplasmosis. But the job is not without its perks:

Elizabeth checks me for ticks every time I come in from outside. The blue thing on the floor is a tick key, used to remove engorged ticks safely. Every once-in-a-while Elizabeth misses one and it gets big. I look pretty fierce here, don't I...

Elizabeth checks me for ticks every time I come in from outside. The blue thing on the floor is a tick key, used to remove engorged ticks safely. Every once-in-a-while Elizabeth misses one and it gets big. I look pretty fierce here, don’t I…

but really, I love getting deticked. It feels like a doggie spa treatment as Elizabeth goes through my wool and massages my skin with her fingertips.

but really, I love getting deticked. It feels like a doggie spa treatment as Elizabeth goes through my wool and massages my skin with her fingertips.

Oh! And look what she found. This one is small so not a great picture. Sorry, but you get the idea....

Oh! And look what she found. This one is small so not a great picture. Sorry, but you get the idea….

Fortunately, some other forest folk are taking up residence in the neighbourhood to give us a hand with insect control.

I might start hanging out in the garden with this little guy. He's a Gray Tree Frog puppy Hyla versicolor is his latin name. Hiya, Hyla!

I might start hanging out in the garden with this little guy. He’s a Gray Tree Frog puppy Hyla versicolor is his latin name. Versicolor indicates that he changes colour to blend in with his surroundings better. If you look closely, you can see his skin is just starting to turn green. It isn’t an instant process. Hiya, Hyla! How’s the Rhubarb?

Like the rest of us here, this spider enjoys a hearty breakfast. She was too busy eating to tell us her name. If any of you know her, please tell us who she is!

Like the rest of us here, this spider enjoys a hearty breakfast (I don’t think she’ll be dining on any mosquitoes for a while…). She was too busy eating to tell us her name. If any of you know her, please tell us who she is!

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